Erik Lamela lined up to replace Chelsea target Antoine Griezmann

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Atletico Madrid have pinpointed Tottenham Hotspur star Erik Lamela as their first-choice replacement for Chelsea target Antoine Griezmann, reports The Evening Standard.

Griezmann has emerged as a target for the Blues and Bayern Munich after an outstanding season for Atletico.

The France international moved to the Spanish capital after a similarly successful season at Real Sociedad and has seen his value rocket as a result.

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While Atletico Madrid are keen to hold on to Griezmann, they are aware that the player's £43.5million buy-out clause is well within Chelsea's financial grasp.

Diego Simeone is currently trying to re-negotiate the terms of the 24-year-old's contract and hopes to increase the clause.

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Contingency plan

However, they know the lure of playing at Stamford Bridge or the Allianz Arena may be too much for Griezmann to turn down.

Jose Mourinho looks set to let Didier Drogba leave the club and wants a new, dynamic striker to challenge Diego Costa for a place in the starting XI.

As a result, Atletico have already sent their scouts around Europe in search for a replacement and have earmarked Lamela as their No.1 target should Griezmann depart the Vicente Calderon.

Falling star

Simeone is well aware of Lamela's talents having been in charge of River Plate when the winger made his way through the youth system.

Lamela went on to AS Roma where he quickly became one of the brightest talents in South American football.

He became Tottenham's record signing  in 2013, joining for £30m with a view to replacing Real Madrid-bound Gareth Bale.

Bargain buy

However, he has failed to impress at White Hart Lane with even the arrival of compatriot Mauricio Pochettino failing to spark him into life.

Of course, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will not be willing to absorb a big financial loss on Lamela but would certainly be tempted to cash in if anything north of £20m arrived at his desk.

Lamela is certainly more suited to the less-physical nature of La Liga and would prove a bargain if he could rekindle the form he showed for AS Roma.


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